"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.

Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has"

Margaret Mead, Anthropologist
(used with permission)

"If you don't like the news .... go out and make some of your own !!"

Wes "Scoop" Nisker, Newscaster


Government is a slow and tedious process. While it often includes citizen and neighborhood involvement, non-governmental, private organizations have created movements and interesting groups which can create positive change in our cities and towns.

I am fascinated by the way groups are created and how they influence public decision making. This blog merely recognizes them and forwards the description of these groups from their own websites.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Brooklyn Box

Location: Brooklyn, NY

Website: www.bkbxgallery.com

bkbx [Brooklyn Box] is an exhibition space located in the former National Packing Box Factory on the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn, NY.

An independent Project-in-Residence at Proteus Gowanus, bkbx was founded by eleven artists who came together through their association with Proteus Gowanus.

bkbx artists come from a wide variety of stylistic and conceptual practices, but share a dedication to forming a meaningful alternative model to today’s art environment. In the community, creativity is experienced as a form of generosity.

A portion of all bkbx sales goes to support our non-profit “parent” organization "Proteus Gowanus".

Location: 543 Union Street,Brooklyn, NY 11215 - entry is around the corner via the Alleyway on Nevins Street.

Enter through Proteus Gowanus.

Hours: Thursday and Friday from 3 – 6, Saturday and Sunday from 12 – 6, or by appointment.



Website: www.urbanresearch.org

Gigz.com is a super fun, gaming-inspired (specifically The Sims inspired), start up website that is to be used as an online tool which will facilitate offline transactions called 'Gigz' that are focused on using individuals as resources for local economic support. Individuals, Businesses, Organizations, Non-profits all have real-life, real-time needs that can be met locally.

Through commercialization, the value of the working individual has dropped. One person is expected to do the work of 3 positions at half the pay. The turn-over rate on individuals in a work position is increasing.

We are trying to empower the individual and let them turn over more work and jobs, rather than work and jobs turning over the individual.

As a society, we are slowly awakening to the fact that 'more' no longer equals 'better.' Cheaper prices means sacrificing personal intimacy. Technology is being used in a way to distance our relationships, not strengthen them. This needs to change.

We hope to reconnect people in our communities by engaging them in local opportunities. We feel that more people would get off the couch, away from the screen, and involved in what is going on around them, if they had a simple yet entertaining way to learn about what opportunities are actually available near them.

At Gigz.com, we define a "Gig" as available opportunity to engage in your community though work, causes, or interests. Our site is currently in the Beta stage. It is free to join and use, unless a work Gig is paid for online, in which case, we will take a very small percentage of the job to aid in the costs of our start up.

Our emphasis is to work with strong ethics, values, and purpose. If we are in a position of growth, we will look forward to expanding nonprofit divisions in our company that we are currently seeking to establish.

The main Gigz interface is a map where you can see local activity mapped out in the same fashion that you would normally use a map to see how local businesses are located. You can search/filter through Gigz based on whether you are looking for work, to get involved in a local cause, or to engage in a hobby with your neighbor... like... knitting, running, or gaming.

Every Gigger has a profile and the ability to showcase their skills. The more Gigz that a Gigger completes in a particular area, the higher their 'level' goes up in said area.

At Gigz.com, just like in video games, collective quests can be conquered, badges can be won, new levels can be reached, and experience points can be gained. But instead of the user's experience being based on simulated experiences. Gigz will dole out online game achievements based on the amount of times a user engages in offline experiences. The basic reward principles of playing video games are applied and people who complete real-life activities will be rewarded in the Gigz simulation.

Although, ultimately the real reward will be the experience gained as a result of a Gigz connection. The more people get involved, the more fun Gigz.com will be and the more experiences people can generate offline for each other. Ultimately we are trying to get individuals to support each others work, causes and interests and to achieve something together.

Joint Center for Housing Studies

Location: Nationwide

Website: urbanretailinstitute.com
The Center was originally formed in 1959 as the Joint Center for Urban Studies of Harvard and MIT, and took up the challenge of addressing intellectual and policy issues confronting a nation experiencing widespread demographic, economic and social changes, with dramatic and far-reaching effects on cities in particular. With principal support from the Ford Foundation the research agenda was based on the premise that the resolution of these issues called for imaginative interdisciplinary approaches to the study of urban problems and issues and required cooperation among universities, government and industry.

During the decade after its inception, when urban studies programs were not yet established at Harvard or MIT, the Center concentrated on building a bridge between multidisciplinary research and policy applications. Research activities were deliberately flexible and exploratory.

In the 1970s, the Center consolidated its research around a core of subjects related to housing. Its analysis of U.S. housing policy reflected the national debate over the government’s responsibility to ensure a decent home and suitable living environment for all its citizens. Early in this period, the Center recognized the need to supplement housing analysis with research in related fields, and with input from outside the academy, in the form of partnerships with public, private, and not-for-profit entities.

The Policy Advisory Board (PAB) of the Joint Center for Housing Studies was formed in 1971--- under the guidance of John T. Dunlop, former United States Secretary of Labor and then Dean of the Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences--- to bring together a diverse group of leading firms and organizations with interests and influence in the housing sector. The PAB continues to play a critical role in identifying emerging issues and trends and joins our commitment to advancing housing as a national priority.

By 1975, research in regional and urban economies, demographic trends, and social policy had been integrated into the program, and during the 1980s the Center underwent a variety of institutional changes. In 1985, the Joint Center for Urban Studies officially became the Joint Center for Housing Studies. In 1989, the Center evolved into a unit based solely at Harvard and jointly affiliated with the Graduate School of Design and the Harvard Kennedy School.

In 1988, the Center launched its signature report The State of the Nation’s Housing, which continues to provide a widely-referenced annual assessment of housing markets, homeownership, and affordability challenges. Since 1998, the Center has expanded its programs of research and convenings to address emerging issues in remodeling markets, rental housing, and housing finance, and has been at the forefront of national policy discussions concerning mortgage and consumer lending and the foreclosure crisis.

In contrast to the Center of several decades ago, the Joint Center for Housing Studies is institutionally smaller, yet more connected to national and international networks as we investigate and illuminate housing’s critical role in the economy and in communities. We continue to foster strong academic ties with schools, faculty and students from across the university community, and to engage with new initiatives on global urbanism, sustainability, and other critical topics for the 21st century. Most importantly, our work continues to serve as a resource for scholars, public and private sector leaders, housing practitioners, and policymakers.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Campaign to Protect Rural England

Location: England, UK

Website: www.cpre.org.uk

We believe a beautiful, thriving countryside is important for everyone, no matter where they live. Millions of town and city dwellers recharge their batteries with a walk or a bike ride in the local Green Belt, spend weekends and holidays in our National Parks, or enjoy fresh local produce. People who live in rural areas keep our countryside beautiful and productive.

The countryside is unique, essential, precious and finite – and it’s in danger. Every year, a little more is lost forever to urban sprawl, new roads, housing and other developments. Rural shops and services are closing, and increasingly intensive farming is changing the character of the countryside. Climate change, too, will have serious impacts on the rural environment.

We work locally and nationally to stand up for the countryside: to protect it from the threats it faces, and to shape its future for the better.

CPRE has been standing up for the countryside for over 80 years. In that time, we’ve seen some remarkable successes. We’ve helped win protection as National Parks for some of our most remarkable landscapes, from the Lake District to the South Downs. We’ve helped to influence and apply planning laws that have, against the odds, preserved the special beauty and character of the English countryside.


Location: Washington, DC region

Website: www.urbanresearch.org

BeyondDC is devoted to urbanism, transportation, and development in the Washington, DC region. It is the sole property of J. Daniel Malouff, and does not represent the views of his employer in any way.

Malouff is a professional transportation planner for the Arlington County Department of Transportation. He has a degree in Urban Planning from the University of Colorado, and lives a car-free lifestyle in Northwest Washington.

In addition to BeyondDC, Malouff’s writing is frequently featured at Greater Greater Washington.

The Washington Post Local Opinion Blog. His work has appeared in print publications such as the The Washington Post, Next American City, Washington Post Express, and the Colorado Daily.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Modesto International Architecture Festival

Location: Modesto, CA

Website: www.modestoarchfest.com

The mission of the Modesto International Architecture Festival is to celebrate architecture and the architectural profession as both an art and a science, and to heighten public awareness of architecture and the value of architects.

The Modesto International Architecture Festival is a series of events and activities for people to learn about, discuss, and research architecture, landscape, and urban design and how they can contribute to a more livable city. It is one of only a handful of such festivals worldwide.

The Modesto International Architecture Festival is hosted by the Sierra Valley Chapter of the American Institute of Architects and the Modesto Art Museum.

The host city, Modesto, has a metro population of 525,000. We are located 90 miles east of San Francisco and 300 miles northwest of Los Angeles. For decades through the 20th century, Modesto was on the cutting edge of architecture in California and the United States. Modesto's landscape, commercial, residential, and government architecture was held up as a model for others and major architects designed buildings and landscapes in the city. Among them are John Funk, William Wurster, Julia Morgan, Frank Lloyd Wright, Gardner Dailey, Milton Pflueger, Thomas Church, Lawrence Halprin, Russell Guerne Lappe, and John McLaren. For a background on architecture in Modesto, read Modernism in Modesto 1937 - 1972, available from the Modesto Art Museum.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Coalition of Community Development Financial Institutions

Location: Nationwide

Website: www.cdfi.org

The CDFI Coalition is the unified national voice of community development financial institutions(CDFIs).

Our mission is to encourage fair access to financial resources for America’s underserved people and communities Nationwide, over 1000 CDFIs serve economically distressed communities by providing credit, capital and financial services that are often unavailable from mainstream financial institutions. CDFIs have loaned and invested over billions in our nation’s most distressed communities. Even better, their loans and investments have leveraged billions more dollars from the private sector for development activities in low wealth communities across the nation.

The CDFI Coalition advocates on behalf of the CDFI industry and educates the public about community development finance. We are a primary source of information and knowledge about the CDFI field for the general public, the media, public officials, private sector lenders, as we as CDFIs.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Urban Retail Institute

Location: Nationwide

Website: www.urbanretailinstitute.com

The Urban Retail Institute has been founded to promote sustainable urban retail for historic and new city centers, with the general goal of providing for the goods and services needed and desired by their residents, workers and visitors.

The URI offers a platform for learning about new trends, research, history and an industry insider's understanding of all aspects of urban retail planning, development, operations and management. The institute is targeted for architects, concerned citizens, developers, educators, financial institutions, policy makers, retailers, students and urban planners.

A wide range of urban retail topics are reviewed including: architecture, big box retailers, department stores, cinemas, grocery stores, entertainment, lighting, independent stores, leasing, lifestyle centers, new urbanism, malls, merchandising plans, national chains, neighborhood centers, parks, parking, restaurants, streetscape, store planning, resorts, urban planning, visual merchandising and zoning policy.

The URI offers educational workshops, white papers, research and peer review for urban retail development and planning.

Friends of the Riverfront

Location: PIttsburg, PA

Website: www.friendsoftheriverfront.org

The Three Rivers Heritage Trail is a wonderful pedestrian trail and greenway system in the Pittsburgh region running for 24 miles along both sides of the Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio Rivers, it is an almost complete public route for cyclists, walkers, runners, and in some places rollerbladers.

The Friends of the Riverfront was established to create and is dedicated to the continued expansion of the Three Rivers Heritage Trail. We advocate for and build multi-use trails, parks and continuous public access along our three rivers through active partnerships with communities, public leaders, citizens and organizations from around the region.

Now incorporated into the new edition of the Three Rivers Heritage Trail map is the Three Rivers Heritage Trail Signage Guide.

Pittsburgh's dramatic landscape and history are portrayed in dozens of signs located along our riverfronts.

From the Pittsburgh Pirates to Mister Rogers to Andy Warhol and the steel industry, let Pittsburgh explain itself to you while touring one of the best urban trail systems in the country.

Friends of the Riverfront is a founding member of the Allegheny Trail Alliance, a group of seven rails-to-trails organizations working to construct the Great Allegheny Passage— a 152-mile continuous biking and walking trail linking Cumberland, MD to Pittsburgh, PA, ending at Point State Park.

It also has with a 52-mile branch to the Pittsburgh International Airport called the Montour Trail. Friends vigorously addresses stumbling blocks to trail completion in the City of Pittsburgh and offers technical and advocacy support to other trail groups trying to finish the Great Allegheny Passage.

In Cumberland, the Great Allegheny Passage connects to the and continues to Washington, DC. The entire trail is not yet complete, but a continuous 100-mile portion from McKeesport, PA, to Meyersdale, PA, nears the Maryland border. This section of trail takes you through scenic Ohiopyle State Park and Confluence for the best white water rafting and recreational amenities in the region.

Also along the trail, you can rest at any of the numerous restaurants, bed & breakfasts and shops that are now catering to trail travelers. All along the Three Rivers Heritage Trail and Great Allegheny Passage as well as other regional trail systems, there is abundant opportunity for economic development and environmental restoration to the widespread disrepair caused by the loss of coal mining, rail and steel industries.

As Friends of the Riverfront continues to push for the development of the few remaining "missing links" in the trail system in the City of Pittsburgh, we have started to engage adjacent municipalities along the Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio Rivers in an effort to establish regional connections and generate economic opportunities and environmental regeneration in smaller riverfront towns.

Recently, Friends launched a program called Access Allegheny —a boat tour of an upper portion of the Allegheny River. Local public officials and citizen groups attended to learn more about the potential for trail connections in both directions and the development of housing, business and recreation along currently neglected areas.

The vision of Friends of the Riverfront is that trails and rivers will become an integral part of economic development and a valued and respected natural resource for the communities and citizens of the three rivers region.
The Three Rivers Heritage Trail provides stories of our rich heritage; free educational, fitness, relaxation and recreational opportunities; protection and stewardship of our environment; and economic stimulus for our region.

The Friends of the Riverfront's strategic plan significantly enhances our capacity to bridge stewardship of our rivers and adjoining lands into the mainstream of the region's strategy for sustainable economic, quality of life, and environmental renewal.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


Location: Nationwide

Website: communitymatters.org

CommunityMatters equips cities and towns to strengthen their places and inspire change. As an alliance of leaders in the community building field CommunityMatters champions the notion that people have the power to solve their community’s problems and shape its future. We facilitate connections, provide education and infuse inspiration at the local level

CommunityMatters prepares communities to re-create themselves. Many people are already speaking up, reaching out and acting on their ideas, and those efforts need support. We offer the tools, resources and expertise that communities need, when they need them.

Whether you’re interested in building consensus for a school budget, using values to drive local decisions, or identifying technology to facilitate conversation, we stand ready to help CommunityMatters champions the idea that through transparent, collaborative conversations, communities can steer change at home. The partner organizations that comprise CommunityMatters are committed to sharing learning and best practices that help you create the vibrant place where you want to live.

Together, the CommunityMatters partnership conference and other programs fuel a growing network of leaders, thinkers and doers in a variety of disciplines – planning, sustainability, health, democracy, education, economic development and the arts - all of which are critical to building stronger communties.

CommunityMatters is inspired by the Orton Family Foundation.

West Side Rag

Location: New York, NY

Website: www.westsiderag.com

First of all, Welcome to the Rag! Thanks for coming by, and I hope you stay awhile and check out what we have to offer. The Rag is an online newspaper/blog that covers the Upper West Side of Manhattan, and it’s written by Upper West Siders. We cover real estate, crime, store openings and closings, the parks and many other topics, and we publish colorful columns about the neighborhood.

As far as geography goes, the Upper West Side stretches roughly from 59th to 110th Streets and from Central Park to the Hudson River. But we’re flexible: if something is going on at St. John the Divine on 112th, we’ll cover it. If Keanu Reeves strips down to his underwear on 58th Street and 10th Avenue and starts to dance, we won’t let geographic boundaries get in our way. Oh yes, we will tell that story.

The Rag started publishing in 2011 and in its first year was named one of the four best neighborhood blogs in the city by the Village Voice.

Life Style Weekly called the site “The best insider source about Manhattan’s Upper West Side.”>br>
BrickUnderground said the Rag is “wry, addictive, up-to-the-minute.”

Much of what you’ll find on the web is rehashed and repackaged news, or some version of the “official story”. What do top officials have to say about this or that official event? We care what those officials say, but what we’re really after is the unofficial stories, the ones we haven’t heard before.

What food do Upper West Siders buy when natural disasters approach? Why is crime up in the 24th precinct? Are new real estate developments making the neighborhood more appealing or simply more unaffordable?

Who is the local Sticker Bandit? What’s really “lobster salad”?

In short, what is it like to live on the Upper West Side today? What gets people excited, what gets them angry, what makes them laugh?

We will not be afraid to write about the big issues, but we also won’t shy away from totally trivial topics. In our morning bulletin, we also aggregate news and opinion about the neighborhood from other outlets so you can know what’s going on. And every week, we let you know about the best events in the neighborhood.

But what we really love is to hear from people who live here (there are more than 200,000 of you and we have a very large inbox). That’s where we get our best stories and ideas.

Please, please, please send us tips, gripes, stories, and ideas. If you witness a crime or a crash let us know. If you see a new store opening or an old store closing, send us a picture. If you had an awful/wonderful experience at a store/park/restaurant… you get the picture. Some people have already signed on as columnists and they’re the best in the city, if not the world!), and we would like to add new columnists. If you become a columnist, you can write or take pictures or make videos about whatever you want, so long as they are about the neighborhood. If you’re interested, send an email to: info at westsiderag dot com. Also, be sure to follow us on twitter and facebook.>br>
And sign up for our email newsletter (just send an email to us at news at westsiderag dot com with your email address).

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Commute Seattle

Location: Seattle, WA

Website: www.urbanresearch.org

Commute Seattle is a not-for-profit Transportation Management Association (TMA) working to provide alternatives to drive-alone commute trips into Downtown Seattle’s 10 neighborhoods. We are a 501c(4) not-for-profit, public-private partnership commissioned, funded, and governed by an Advisory Board of executive leaders from the Downtown Seattle Association, King County Metro, and the City of Seattle.

We seek to reduce the drive-alone commute rate in Downtown Seattle to 30% by 2016, making Seattle a strong leader among peer cities in supporting alternatives to driving alone.

Commute Seattle is committed to delivering transportation services that not only reduce congestion and support increased commuter options, but also support business objectives in greater Downtown. These services include:

- Transportation consultations to support a property or small business’ assessment of its transportation benefit program elements,

- Offering a range of services and commute option products tailored to individual business needs,Education and marketing of transportation information to businesses and commuters; and

-Marketing and selling ORCA Business Passport to Downtown employers.

Friday, August 16, 2013


Location: Nationwide

Website: www.willametteinitiative.org

When neighbors start talking, good things happen.

Build a stronger neighborhood with your neighbors to stay informed and share useful local information.

Look out for each other and send updates to keep the neighborhood safe.

Find a great babysitter or trusty dentist. Borrow a ladder or sell that old bookcase.

A private environment designed just for you and your neighbors.
Only real neighbors allowed:

Each member must verify their address to join so you know you can trust who you are sharing with.

Your personal information is safe;

We will never share your information with third parties.
>br> Read our commitment to privacy.

Over 17,000 neighborhoods are building stronger and safer places to call home.

Data Driven Detroit

Location: Detroit, MI

Website: www.datadrivendetroit.org

Data Driven Detroit (D3) is a statewide organization with a focus on the city of Detroit. D3 houses a comprehensive data system that includes current and historic demographic, socioeconomic, educational, environmental, and other indicators. This data system allows analysts to illustrate complex relationships by combining different datasets to reveal the true stores of our regions, cities and blocks. D3 is committed to serving all communities by adapting data into different formats for different audiences.

Data Driven Detroit (D3), an affiliate of the Michigan Nonprofit Association (MNA), provides accessible, high-quality information and analysis to drive informed decision-making. Our vision is that essential and unbiased information is used by all.

From the Michigan Metropolitan Information Center at Wayne State University, to the Southeast Michigan Information Center at United Way, there have been many initiatives to collect and democratize data about Detroit and its neighborhoods.

The Skillman Foundation and The Kresge Foundation awarded City Connect Detroit a $1.85 million grant to incubate Data Driven Detroit(originally named the Detroit-Area Community Information System).
,br> National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership (NNIP). NNIP is a select group of organizations that have built advanced and continuously updated data systems to track neighborhood conditions in their cities.

In December 2012, after an extensive period of review, discussion and due diligence, Data Driven Detroit became an affiliated program of the Michigan Nonprofit Association. This move has strengthened D3′s operations and increased our exposure to a statewide network of member nonprofits and philanthropic organizations.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

San Francisco Tenants Union

Location: San Francisco, CA

Website: www.sftu.org

Since 1971, the SF Tenants Union has been fighting for the rights of tenants and for the preservation of affordable housing in San Francisco. From the struggle for rent control in the 1970s to 1998's Proposition G (to end the abuses of OMI evictions), the Tenants Union has been the city's leading advocate for tenants. The SFTU is 100% membership supported and this enables our advocacy to be uncompromising and immune to pressures from government or other funders.

For both members and non-members, the SFTU operates a drop in counseling clinic at 558 Capp Street (in the Mission District - cross street is 21st Street (Capp runs parallel to Mission St and is one block east of Mission). Counseling hours are available by calling tel:282-6622.

Counseling is free for SFTU members. Non-members are asked to donate ($20 for people of moderate incomes or above, $10 for people with low incomes) per visit (no one is turned away for lack of funds, however).

Telephone counseling is provided only to SFTU members. Non-members must come to the drop in clinic.<

SFTU members get free counseling for a year, phone counseling access, our comprehensive Tenants Rights Handbook and a subscription to Tenant Times, the city's tenant newspaper.

CommUniverCity San Jose

Location: San Jose, CA

Wensite: www.cucsj.org

CommUniverCity San José believes that everyone deserves to live in vibrant, healthy, and engaged communities. Every day we work with residents to develop great neighborhoods, because no one’s opportunities in life should be limited by the place where they live.

We do this by engaging residents and students in service-learning projects that accomplish neighborhood-driven goals through a cross-sector partnership with the City of San José, the residents of Central San José neighborhoods, and San José State University students.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

League to Save Lake Tahoe

Location: Lake Tahoe, CA and NV

Website: www.keeptahoeblue.org

The League to Save Lake Tahoe is dedicated to protecting, restoring, and advocating for the ecosystem health and scenic beauty of the Lake Tahoe Basin. The organization focuses on water quality and its clarity for the preservation of a pristine Lake for future generations.

Keep Tahoe Blue" means a crystal clear Lake, protecting watersheds that support native plants and forests and abundant wildlife, an active and informed community of residents and visitors who act as stewards for the Lake, and communities and facilities within longstanding urban boundaries that harmonize with the natural environment, and provide low-impact outdoor recreational opportunities now and into the future.

The League is a solutions-based environmental watchdog. Our core focus is to protect Lake Tahoe’s inspiring water clarity, We advocate for strong environmental regulation and enforcement to protect Lake Tahoe for this and future generations and collaborate with stakeholders to address environmental issues. We support collaborative, innovative, and science-based solutions to environmental issues facing the Lake.

Saturday, August 10, 2013


Location: San Francisco,CA

Website: www.sfpark.org

SFMTA established SFpark to use new technologies and policies to improve parking in San Francisco. Reducing traffic by helping drivers find parking benefits everyone. More parking availability makes streets less congested and safer. Meters that accept credit and debit cards reduce frustration and parking citations. With SFpark, we can all circle less and live more.

SFpark works by collecting and distributing real-time information about where parking is available so drivers can quickly find open spaces. To help achieve the right level of parking availability, SFparkperiodically adjusts meter and garage pricing up and down to match demand. Demand-responsive pricing encourages drivers to park in underused areas and garages, reducing demand in overused areas.

Through SFpark, real-time data and demand-responsive pricing work together to readjust parking patterns in the City so that parking is easier to find.

SFpark is testing its new parking management system at 7,000 of San Francisco’s 28,800 metered spaces and 12,250 spaces in 15 of 20 City-owned parking garages. Federal funding through the Department of Transportation’s Urban Partnership Program pays for 80 percent of the SFpark project.

SFpark optimizes the use of existing parking resources to benefit drivers and everyone else who spends time in San Francisco. Public transit riders, bicyclists, pedestrians, business owners, residents and visitors can all expect this innovative new parking management project to improve their quality of life in many ways.

In November 2008, the SFMTA Board of Directors approved legislation that enabled the SFpark pilot project. It defined the SFpark pilot areas and specified, as required by city law, the ranges and limits for rates and time limits, as well as parking availability targets.

SFpark is testing wireless parking sensors, new meters and demand-responsive pricing in neighborhoods across the City over the next two years. The pilot areas include Civic Center/Hayes Valley, the Financial District, SoMa/Mission Bay, the Mission, Fisherman’s Wharf, the Fillmore and the Marina.

From its technology to its unique pricing policies, publications, organizations, and government agencies around the world have recognized the SFMTA’s SFpark project for its innovative solutions to urban parking management. SF park is honored to have received or been selected as a finalist for the following awards.

The SFMTA has worked closely with a team of valued partners from academia, government, and the private sector to deliver the SFpark pilot project. Together, these organizations have not only helped improve parking in San Francisco, their contributions may lend insight to ways to help solve transportation challenges worldwide.

Art Everywhere

Location: Great Britain

Website: www.arteverywhere.org.uk

Showcasing great British art across the UK, Art Everywhere is the largest exhibition of its kind in the world. From the 12–25 August 2013 some of the nation's greatest art is on display across 22,000 poster sites and billboards up and down the country.

Artists, curators, media owners and entrepreneurs joined by a love of art have fuelled this massive charitable celebration, and the general public crowd-funded over £30,000 to help make it happen.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Council for Canadian Urbanism

Location: Canada

Website: www.canadianurbanism.ca

The Council for Canadian Urbanism (CanU) is a movement and organization of city planners, urban designers, architects landscape architects, engineers, developers and other urbanists operating across Canada, in urban design leadership positions within city governments and the private or community sectors.

CanU strives to connect urbanists across Canada and has actively promoted the inclusion of all regions with representation in both English and French, in the use of best practices and in sharing experience in the building of great communities. 

CanU believes that dialogue and debate is required, but must lead to meaningful action. It is up to all those involved in planning and design of our cities, subscribing and believing in this idea, to respond to this appeal and rally with the group leading towards a better future for our regions, cities, towns and villages.

New York City Economic Development Corporation

Location: New York, NY

Website: www.nycedc.org

NYCEDC is the City’s primary engine for economic development charged with leveraging the City’s assets to drive growth, create jobs and improve quality of life.

We are an organization dedicated to New York City and its people. We use our expertise to develop, advise, manage and invest to strengthen businesses and help neighborhoods thrive. We make the City stronger.

NYCEDC also helps create affordable housing, new parks, shopping areas, community centers, cultural centers and much more.  How do we accomplish this?

We build from the bottom up; starting with a strong infrastructure to support the City’s many neighborhoods. By leveraging partnerships between the public and private sectors, we stimulate the economy with real estate developments that create jobs, build and revive communities and improve quality of life for all New Yorkers.

By providing expert business, economic and policy advice to the City, not-for-profit and for-profit private sectors, we work to ensure that New York remains a global center of commerce and culture. We advise the City on strategic issues and devise programs that help to attract and retain world-class companies and professionals. In order to diversify and grow the City’s economy, our extensive initiatives are designed to assist the City’s various sectors and to introduce actionable plans to make our vision for the City’s future a reality.

Our management of City properties and assets generates revenue while creating jobs and new business opportunities. We partner with other City agencies to ensure that our properties, which include manufacturing and distribution hubs, transportation and other infrastructure, are well-maintained and easily accessible. We also support initiatives that stimulate growth across industries that utilize City properties and assets.

We provide the financial tools that allow businesses and not-for-profits to grow and create new jobs. We also fund public and private projects that generate jobs and revenue – investments for now and for the future.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Liveability Ranking and Overview

Location: International

The Liveability Ranking and Overview assesses living conditions in 140 cities around the world. A rating of relative comfort for 30 indicators is assigned across five broad categories: stability; healthcare; culture and environment; education; and infrastructure. The survey gives an overall rating of 0-100, where 1 is intolerable and 100 is ideal.

Opportunity Detroit

Location: Detroit,MI

Website: www.opportunitydetroit.com

In November 2007, Quicken Loans announced it would relocate its headquarters to a newly constructed building in downtown Detroit, with options to develop several sites. Under the timeline for that plan, construction of a new headquarters building would have been completed by 2012. But the nationwide economic downturn has made it virtually impossible to obtain financing for the construction of new office buildings.

U The decision to lease space enables the company to establish a strong presence in the city while continuing to pursue plans to develop a new downtown headquarters when commercial construction financing becomes more available across the country.

“We pledge to fulfill our commitment to the city. This is an interim step that allows us to begin transforming Detroit into a high-tech hub of business and ingenuity,” said company founder and chairman Dan Gilbert. “Our goal is to develop a downtown headquarters once construction financing becomes available for large-scale building projects the likes of which we plan to undertake.”

“Our move to the Compuware Building will get our folks working in the city even quicker than if we waited out the construction process as originally planned,” said Matt Cullen, president and COO of Rock Ventures, who is spearheading Quicken Loans’ move downtown. “The 1,700 people we are bringing downtown will have an immediate and profound impact on the city’s economy, in terms of income tax, retail spending and housing.”

“This agreement extends an already great partnership between two of Michigan’s most innovative companies,” said Compuware Chairman and CEO Peter Karmanos, Jr. “Bringing Quicken Loans and Compuware together at One Campus Martius will make our workplace even more dynamic and collaborative. It’s great for both companies and for our employees.”

“Quicken Loans remains dedicated to being part of the ongoing transformation of the city,” said Gilbert. “As we’ve studied our site options for a new headquarters, we have continued to infuse energy into other business and infrastructure initiatives to enhance the city.”

Gilbert founded the Detroit-based Bizdom U, an entrepreneurial boot camp, in 2007, and is the co-chairman of M-1 Rail, a light rail system on Woodward Avenue that will connect Detroit’s largest cultural, entertainment, educational, medical and employment centers.

Our mission is to showcase Detroit’s exciting present and promising future by creating an urban environment that attracts businesses, residents and visitors.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Center for Urban Research

Location: New York, NY

Website: www.urbanresearch.org

The Center for Urban Research (CUR) works with faculty and graduate students to organize basic research on the critical issues facing New York and other large cities in the U.S. and abroad, collaborates on applied research and information dissemination with public agencies, nonprofit organizations, foundations, the media, and other partners, and holds forums and workshops on urban research undertaken at the Graduate Center and the City University.

These activities are motivated by the desire to understand how broad forces like the global economy and immigration are reshaping work, politics, and neighborhood life in large metropolitan areas. To promote these ends, CUR:

- Organizes lectures, seminars, and conferences and encourages debate within CUNY and New York City on urban issues.
- Develops and seeks foundation, government, and corporate funding for research that uses New York City as a laboratory.

Main areas of research include:

- immigration and migration,

- housing and neighborhood change,

- labor market trends,

- economic development,

- demographic trends,

- crime, and

- political participation.

CUR provides a laboratory for statistical analysis and mapping of a variety of data sources and trains faculty and students to employ them.

CUNY Data Service and CUNY Mapping Service at CUR specialize in using the latest statistical and mapping tools and techniques.  The New York City Labor Market Information Service (NYCLMIS) New York City Labor Market Information Service (NYCLMIS), a joint endeavor of the New York City Workforce Investment Board (WIB) and the Center for Urban Research -- develops action-oriented research on workforce development issues and serves as a portal for cutting-edge and timely labor market data about New York City.